February 18, 2011

TiVo first impression: "Bloody Amazing"

Here's Mercelous on his TiVo install:
My impressions of TiVo since having it installed yesterday is, its bloody amazing. It's very quick looks stunning in HD and there is so much to look at. I really am blown away by it. Trouble is it now makes my V+ guide look like analogue. Looking through character profiles and finding films and tv shows weeks ahead and being able to set them to record is fantastic. It is already recommending stuff and being able to rate shows is good. The remote is great and is heavy but in a good way. The only fault I have is that when you set your picture HD resolution it does not save it no matter what and keeps reverting back to 1080i. Hope it will be ironed out soon. You do get to choose 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, or all of them and 1080p which is not yet available. There is also no BBC red button yet. The box is silent and looks good. I was told by the guys that I was part of 6000 that are testers to iron out bugs and that it is being updated on a regular basis. The install took an hour and it can take 24 hours for the guide to fully install as there is so much info to download to the box. So I really think its worth the money. Honestly once you get it you will never regret it. Well done Virgin. STUNNING.


Steven said...

How much did you pay?

mercelous said...

I'm VIP 50 and it cost £149 no install cost and it's £3.00/month. I am conscious of price but I have never had TiVo before and everyone raves about it so I decided to bite the bullet. Some might want to wait for it to drop in price but honestly I'm not joking when I say its mind blowing and so different to the V+HD. There is no interactive at the min for BBC or other channels (so no iplayer) but it's coming anytime before it's full rollout in April. All on demand is there and catch up t.v. too. One thing I really love too is then when you set something to record if it's also on in HD it selects HD above SD.

Anthony said...

Finally an honest reviewer that's not picking holes! Very jealous, I want one!

It's my bday next month, i've asked my gilrf for one, but she hasn't a clue what i'm on about, so gift to my self me thinks - i'll ask her for an iPad and the app instead!

mercelous said...

UPDATE! Sorry you do get BBC iplayer via on demand just not via red button so no video screens or text at the min.

Richard said...

as last - someone who gets TIVO
the poll is showing people are excited by the 1TB drive that's because they are thinking its about a SKY+ HD 1TB rival...it's not!
TIVO is about the way we select and choose what to watch.
I've had series 1 for 10 years and it is way way better than V+ or Sky+ in the experience of programme selection.
Is this starting to sink into people yet - TIVO IS awesome.

streaky_7 said...

Great bit of feedback mercelous. I was starting to swing towards not bothering with TIVO, but now you have swung me back to being excited again!

We don't get anything for the extra £3 do we?

I do love to moan, as the wife would tell you, and it is a minor gripe, but I am surprised that us customers on VIP50 are being charged the £3 a month....don't get me wrong, it's only £3, but as we are paying top whack already (my bill is always over £100 on VIP50 plus call charges etc), and as another incentive to get customers to move to the top package, I would have thought they would have scrapped the £3 for VIP? Even if it was only for the first 12months or something.....

Or as I say, maybe I am just being picky...I'm sure the £3 a month will soon be forgotten when I'm playing with my new toy!! The £149 may take a little longer though.....

mercelous said...

I suppose the £3/month could have been removed for VIP'S but you will forget about it. I love that already its recording programs that it thinks I would like and it's freaky that it is stuff I like watching. You can also set it to just suggest programs and not record them if you like. Character profiles are massive. It tells you all about them such as tv programs they starred in and films too. It then has a link to show you if they available to record and on which channel/on demand or on filmflex weeks in advance. I couldn't believe that when I looked up Back To The Future it told me everyone that starred in it and they all have their own links. I must sound like an excited kid but you really can see that this is a big thing for Virgin and this will surely entice some Sky die hards once they see it. I really am loving it and Sky would have to move heaven and earth and more to ever pull me away from Virgin now.

nick said...

Unless they've improved the picture quality dramatically it's no better than the V+ HD.

Admittedly the EPG is far superior and is in HD, the features are also far superior to the V+ HD.

The thing that lets it down is the lack of the 3rd tuner although that's coming soon.

streaky_7 said...

@nick, I dunno, TIVO sounds like it has much more to offer than V+HD. A lot more in fact. But I do appreciate it won't be for everyone, especially with the costs involved.

@ mercelous,, when you say you can set recordings far in advance, I assume you mean more than the 1 week in advance the other V boxes can do? If so, do you know how far in advance? This is something that really interests me and I think would be helpful - ESP if you can set films etc based on actor searches!!

Square eyes said...


Is everything you expected or more, as I pointed out when I posted Feb 7th

I love my TIVO :o)

mercelous said...

Re Streaky_7 As far as I can see it is for the full 2 weeks in advance and 1 week previous and covers all on demand, catch-up and fimflex. Whether it goes further I will see as its still downloading but It's almost done. If you search Tom Hanks or say Toy Story it will come up with all his films and programs he has been in and if any of them are on within the 2 weeks/on catch-up/ on demand or filmflex you can watch/ set to record or buy.

Square eyes said...

@streaky 7

The programme guide is 28days but it does not give the full time schedule. However if you set a recording and have missed the screening, don't worry the box remembers and will record it the next time it is shown, even if it is not on for another 12 months.

And yes you can set recordings by actors, directors etc.....


I wish people would stop going on about the lack of the 3rd tuner, the 3rd tuner is already in the box and the update is happening in March/April as I have pointed out several different times.

Next you can actually record 2 seperate programmes at the same time now, the bos will record the planned recording on one channel + if you wish to record the channel you are on as well, well you can do that to.

Again that info has been posted already!

streaky_7 said...

Thanks for the info. It really helps people like me make up our minds as to whether we should pay the cash to step up. £149 ain't cheap but at least you get something for your cash. Sky want £249 for a 1TB Sky+HD box but it ain't gonna recommend programmes or point out stuff to watch 2weeks in advance just coz I do a search for Megan Fox.....acting talent of course! not to mention the countless other perks that come with TIVO.

It ain't perfect right now, some ironing needs doing, but it's the best box out there right now!!! I just hope I am one of the lucky 1000 to get it free for a year.

mercelous said...

@ square eyes. It's way better than I imagined. I have read up a lot on the net and about the American version too but once I got it I'm hooked. I think at the min people are just eager to get it cus obviously with what I have written its frustrating everyone who wants it but I think people need to see it or just buy it when they can to realise how good it is. Don't be negative about it. You can choose to pay Sky £299 for a 1TB box with a crap on demand service or buy TiVo with 1TB hard drive that learns your viewing habits, has great on demand and even has a 10 meg hard drive inside and in my opinion there is no contest.

streaky_7 said...

Thanks Square Eyes. 28 days is frickin sweet. Proper planning can be done not to mention the recommendations.

Thanks all for the info. And thanks Nialli, as always this is the best site in my opinion to get bare facts and opinions, good or bad!

Anonymous said...

streaky_7 said.

I wish people would stop going on about the lack of the 3rd tuner, the 3rd tuner is already in the box and the update is happening in March/April as I have pointed out several different times.

is that the same March/April as the the mid December roll-out??

streaky_7 said...

Richard, that wasn't me who made that comment, that was Square eyes. But I know what your saying. It's a bit of a pain. And VM cannot always be held to their word.

But as Square eyes pointed out, currently with the V+box you can record 2 programmes and watch a 3rd. Currently with the TIVO box you can still record 2 programmes. The only difference is you can't watch the 3rd. You have to leave the box on one of the channels it's recording - I am not sure if it automatically switches to one of these channels if you set 2 recordings and had it on a 3rd - I would assume it would switch rather than stop a recording unless you manually overide it.

Chas said...

We got our Tivo on Wednesday and it's great. I packed up my Series 1 Tivo when we got the V+ HD. So nice to get all the Tivo functionality back after a long time in the wilderness with a V+ HD!

The big wins for me are the schedule searching by name and all the recommended/Tivo pick stuff so you've always got a variety of stuff you like to watch.

I also like that the search brings back all content, whether it's a scheduled programme or on-demand content - I don't particular care where the content comes from!

But it's the little things you notice, like the way when you're fast forwarding through adverts and then hit play when you see the program again - it automatically goes back a few seconds so you don't miss any program. Bliss!

Square eyes said...


You have 2 options

1 - Get one
2 - Don't get one

It's that simple

nick said...


The 3rd tuner is essential for some people, I'm aware it's in the box, I'm also aware it's not yet activated.

I used the box for a while, for me it did the job, for my wife it's not workable, she uses all 3 tuners on a regular basis.

Don't forget the words "coming soon" to Virgin Media mean something different to me and you... Sky Basics HD coming soon etc.

Square eyes said...


The difference is VM are not waiting for another company to get channels, the upgrade comes from VM not a 3rd party

So it will be March/April

lee said...

The price puts me off, both the install cost as well as the montly extra, bearing in mind I get all 4 services at top whack as it is...

I'm not getting it therefore - I appreciate it's a good product, and a bigger drive, but ultiamtely the SERVICE is the same - same channels, same HD, same bitrate, same sound etc, so basically we'd need to pay extra for a box, and nothing else extra. I appreciate it's a better box, but it's still just that.

And I do know I have a choice to get one, or not, but I'm voicing as it's nice to have a debate and see what other people think :)

streaky_7 said...

I think the comments you made were justified in order to create a conversation about this. which a lot of us like and come on here for.

But i think some of us, and I'm not speaking on behalf of anyone else, but I think some of us are a little fed up of people slating TIVO purely on price. No one has been charged any money for anything, no one has been forced to have this product, this is only something that people pay for should they wish to have this box. It's a choice. So to slate it for how much it costs seems a little perplexing. I don't go on forums complaining about the cost of 50" TV or a Blu Ray or a BMW or a certain holiday. Its all a choice. If you want it then pay. If you don't then don't.

We all appreciate feedback about it's performance and features and we all appreciate something negative about things like this. Yes the up front costs arent cheap. Yes there's a monthly fee. Yes I have queried these myself in the past. But I think now it's all laid out, it's now down to the individual to decide whether it's worth the money. Some people just need to stop moaning about the costs involved.

I'm not having ago at anyone here at all. And like I said, I like the debates. I just think some people are getting a little annoyed about people complaining about the same things all the time.

But as I said in a previous post, I love to moan as well so maybe I should keep quiet!!!

mercelous said...

One thing that puzzles me is why are people complaining about the TiVo sub per month. TiVo has always been a subscription service in the states and can cost more than $10 a month and when series 1 TiVo was launched here in 2000 it was £10 per month or you could pay yearly or a lifetime sub was available. When Sky+ was first launched it was £10 a month and so was telewest's pvr when it first launched. Why is Virgin's TiVo sub so bad. We have the cheapest TiVo sub yet.

lee said...

I guess we technically pay a sub for boxes already, so that's really covered.

And I take the points about cost - of course you have to pay to get something, I guess one just feels a little irked that we have the FULL service from VM, and you'd like to think, I don't know, a half price offer or something - because if I was the type to ring up and say I'm leaving to get better service from Sky (which I'm not, and would never do) then they'd give me an offer or a free upgrade or something!!

I guess too that I could argue that you're right to never expect to pay anything but full price on a TV, or a Blu-ray, but then I don't have running, contractual, costs with either of those manufacturers, a la Virgin?

Square eyes said...

Just so you are aware, the retentions teams are under strict instructions - if someone phones and says they are leaving if they don,t get deal - they are to let them go, because there is no other product on the market like it.

And the Sky TB drive is £299, and does nothing different from the normal box.

David said...

i love my tivo and cant wait to 3rd tuner is up and running

free online slots said...

The first impression that i read about it, was not too positive, comparing the price and results that you can have it with the new technology.

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